Henry “Big Bank Hank” Jackson, one of the founders of the rap group The Sugarhill Gang, passed away at the age of 57. The cause of death is reported as kidney complications due to cancer.
Anytime I hear that song, I flash back to the innocence of my childhood. I had two brothers that were 12 years older than me, so they were my introduction to music. One of the first record labels I remember recognizing simply from the logo was that of Sugar Hills Records, founded by Sylvia Robinson.
I knew that playing any record (this was the late 70s and early 80s) with that logo was going to be well worth the listen. The list of songs on that record label include timeless rap classics like The Message from Grand Master Flash and the Furious Five and Apache from The Sugarhill Gang. Even today, I still keep quite a few of those songs in heavy rotation in my mp3 player.
R.I.P. my brother. Join all the other musicians and artists who have gone before in that great pantheon of the collective memories of all those who enjoyed your music.